Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids has confirmed that Damian Willemse is “doubtful” for Saturday’s Test against Scotland, but Sbu Nkosi is available for selection after joining the squad this past Sunday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Willemse went off in the 13th minute of the Test against Wales on Saturday after taking a heavy knock to his head and did not return to the field as he failed the head impact assessment.
The 22-year-old was replaced at fullback by Frans Steyn, who went on to earn man of the match for his performance in helping the Springboks claim a comeback victory, the team’s first win in Cardiff since 2013.
It is unlikely that the Boks will risk Willemse against Scotland, given that he also has to go through World Rugby’s return-to-play protocol.
“At this stage, Damian Willemse, he came off the field with concussion, will need to go through the seven-day protocol so he might be in doubt for this weekend,” Davids said in an injury update on Monday.
“Other than that, we are fine. Everybody is available and ready for training today.”
Davids added that the injury to Willemse was unfortunate as the Bok coaches were hoping to get a better glimpse of what he could offer in challenging conditions.
“The plan coming into this tour was to build momentum and also to look at key positions where we can build depth and give guys an opportunity to gain experience.
“It was a chance to see him performing under such competitive situations in terms of where he is and what he can bring for us going forward. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him, but we know he is a talented guy and he will bounce back and things will work out better for him going forward.
“Also, having a guy like Frans Steyn come forward and putting in the performance that he did just showed the importance of having experience in your squad, helping the youngsters going forward.”
Meanwhile, the Springboks have been boosted by the arrivial of wing Sbu Nkosi, who missed the Test against Wales due to issues with his passport and visa.
It is understood that Nkosi failed to collect his updated passport in time and this meant he was unable to join the Boks for both the pre-tour camp in France and the first Test of the tour against Wales in Cardiff.
Davids confirmed that Nkosi had arrived to join the rest of the squad on Sunday and is expected to train on Monday, making him available for Saturday’s Test.
Photo: Yan Wilkisky/BackpagePix